By David Owen

Pro-Russian supporters carry a huge Russian flag during a rally in Kharkiv earlier this week ©AFP/Getty ImagesMarch 19 - A rugby league match between Ukraine and Russia on May 24 has been moved out of Ukraine, as the ongoing political crisis impacts further on international sports events.

The European Championship B fixture, originally down to be played in the north-east Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, has instead been switched to Russia; the 2015 reverse fixture will now take place in Ukraine.

A statement from the Rugby League European Federation (RLEF) said that, while Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-biggest city, was the headquarters of the Ukrainian Rugby League Federation (UFRL), "there is presently no stable municipal authority with the power to guarantee the safety of the participants and spectators.

"Considering that national elections are due to take place on 25 May, and following consultations with the UFRL and the Russian Association of Rugby League Clubs, the RLEF has switched the match to Naro-Fominsk in Russia on the same date."

The RLEF said that Ukraine's home match against Italy on July 5 was "still scheduled for Kharkiv until further notice".

Kharkiv had also been due to host an international football match between Ukraine and the United States earlier this month.

This ended up being played in Cyprus, with Ukraine winning 2-0.

There is also uncertainty over Ukraine's ability to host the EuroBasket 2015 basketball championship.

The Fédération Française de Basketball has submitted an offer to replace Ukraine as hosts, while there have been rumours of several other countries harbouring interests in hosting the event.

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